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On the off chance that anyone is interested in the opening stages of the war in German South West Africa in 1914, or if anyone has medals to the South African Mounted Rifles or Transvaal Horse Artillery, a look at the casualty list here may be of interest. If you have any medals to anyone who was present at Sandfontein i am sure this will be of interest.

Still to come are some photos, medals and maps, but for the time being, here is the bare bones info.

http://www.imperial-research.net/sandfontein.htm

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On the off chance that anyone is interested in the opening stages of the war in German South West Africa in 1914

Chris, I've always found this to be an interesting chapter of the First World War. I read an account recently that some of the Boers of South Africa volunteered and only then said, "who are we fighting? The Germans OR the British." Some did fight the British.

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Hi,

That was General Brits. A Botha loyalist, he was not pro British, but had 100% trust in Bothas descisions. He reported to Botha saying "My men are ready, who are we fighting, the British or the Germans?"

There is a great tale of when he was up in Northern GSWA and really wanted some brandy. There was none to be had, but he heard a soldier under his command had some. He had him called to his tent, but was informed by his staff that as an officer, he could not drink with "other ranks"... so he promoted the man for the duration of the bottle.

When he cam back from the campaign, most of the soldiers had taken german bayonets as souveniers. brits tok a field gun. On arrival in cape town the customs stopped him and refused him permission to disembark it. He told the customs man that his shipload of soldiers gave him all the permission he needed....

I have a whole bunch of material on this, as soon as David Gregory gets his PC in order again, we will be doing a GSWA website.

Best

Chris

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Hello Chris,

I have been researching the early stages of the 1915 war in GSWA for some time and have been primarily interested in the intergration of the Boer Commando Units into the South African Union Army.

I am trying to find out where Collins Scouts were deployed during the GWSA campaign, also were they part of the Ermelo Commando or did they simpily comprise of men within Military District No.6 region?

Horses I understand were the main source of transport during the GSWA campaign as within two months no fewer than eight Base Veterinary Hospitals and 15 Mobile Veterinary Sections were drafted for service to German South West Africa. In addition personnel had been provided for the establishment of numerous remount and transport depots, and for attachment to all the mounted formations, Animal Ships and Purchasing Boards. In the end services had to be provided for 160,000 animals (60,000 horses, 12,000 odd mules and close on 3,000 donkeys passed through the various veterinary hospitals during the course of the Rebellion and the GSWA Campaign).

However did the Mounted regiments in GSWA use any form of mechanised vehicles?

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Hi,

David Gregory and I are working on getting more info together to increase what is on the site. I must look but I think there is a mention of collins scouts.

From what I can find, motorised vehicules were used for a number of things, but not by the commandoes.

I will check my notes and see what i can find.

Welcome to the site !!!

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Hi,

David Gregory and I are working on getting more info together to increase what is on the site. I must look but I think there is a mention of collins scouts.

From what I can find, motorised vehicules were used for a number of things, but not by the commandoes.

I will check my notes and see what i can find.

Welcome to the site !!!

You are correct there was a mention of Collins Scouts, I also found the info on Sandtfontein very informative.

thks

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Guest Carl Hoehler

Guys (esp Chris Boonzaaier)

Very nice to see the level of interest as well as the information that is available.

Knowledge of the 1914-1915 Rebellion is an essential part of any study of South Africa in the First World War. This is made difficult by the scarcity of sources (mostly in Afrikaans) and a political divide that exists to this day - most South Africans who remember Jannie Smuts still seem to dislike him.

From Harm Oost ( "Wie is die skuldigers ?" - Who are the guilty (ones) ?) the Rebellion seemed to have stemmed from what Botha, de la Rey and de Wet had agreed (about future independence) immediately prior to the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging in 1902 and what had then been communicated to their supporters. Maritz had never signed the treaty but most of the other leaders had.

My own feeling is that the rebels (the so-called bitter-enders) resenting the loss of independence, did not want to fight for the British Empire in terms of the then constitutional arrangements (which also applied to Australia, Canada, India (which included the later Pakistan and the still later Bangladesh), Newfoundland and New Zealand).

Carl Hoehler

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Guys (esp Chris Boonzaaier)

Very nice to see the level of interest as well as the information that is available.

Knowledge of the 1914-1915 Rebellion is an essential part of any study of South Africa in the First World War. This is made difficult by the scarcity of sources (mostly in Afrikaans) and a political divide that exists to this day - most South Africans who remember Jannie Smuts still seem to dislike him.

From Harm Oost ( "Wie is die skuldigers ?" - Who are the guilty (ones) ?) the Rebellion seemed to have stemmed from what Botha, de la Rey and de Wet had agreed (about future independence) immediately prior to the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging in 1902 and what had then been communicated to their supporters. Maritz had never signed the treaty but most of the other leaders had.

My own feeling is that the rebels (the so-called bitter-enders) resenting the loss of independence, did not want to fight for the British Empire in terms of the then constitutional arrangements (which also applied to Australia, Canada, India (which included the later Pakistan and the still later Bangladesh), Newfoundland and New Zealand).

Carl Hoehler

Hi,

I think Maritz was still too small a fish to be invited to sign a treaty?

In retrospect the treatment handed out by the British after the peace was very, very fair indeed.

When the rebellion came around, objectively speaking, it was a rag tag bunch of men. When you read of the part played by Maritz and Co on the South African /GSWA border, it is kind of embarrasing. The man was far from being a great, or even good leader of men and a less than average tactician or commander.

As for the rest of the rebellion, it seems to have been half hearted at best, many of the men wanting just to make a gesture to show their displeasure but not really willing or wanting to really fight.

I think it a measure of how great a man Botha was that so very many of the Great Boer leaders went along with him.

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Guest Carl Hoehler

. . . I think Maritz was still too small a fish to be invited to sign a treaty? . . .

Chris

A good point.

Was he even invited to sign the Treaty ???

Did he then make a snub or non-invitation into a political statement ???

I am not sure where or what he was during the Boer War (although he was on the 1st Staff Course at Tempe in 1912).

It would seem that his later doings seem to inflate his importance beyond what it was in the Boer War eg it is not called the de la Rey / de Wet / Beyers / Kemp etc Rebellion.

Carl Hoehler

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Chris

A good point.

Was he even invited to sign the Treaty ???

Did he then make a snub or non-invitation into a political statement ???

I am not sure where or what he was during the Boer War (although he was on the 1st Staff Course at Tempe in 1912).

It would seem that his later doings seem to inflate his importance beyond what it was in the Boer War eg it is not called the de la Rey / de Wet / Beyers / Kemp etc Rebellion.

Carl Hoehler

Hi,

in the boer war he was initially one of Danie Therons scouts, then went with Wynand malan into the cape with about 20 raiders. Later he was promoted to "general" and led a group of rebels in the north Western cape.

He seems to have been a succesful and aggressive small unit leader, but noone seems to impressed with what he achieved in the Upington district in the couple of years leading up to the war, his command capabilities seem to have been rather mediocre. He played an important part in the Rebellion because he was on the German border and took a band of men over to join the Germans, but the German and the boer military methods just did not "Fit"...

Most of his "rebel Army" buggered off home on their own, then after a weak attempt to raid the Cape his rebel army fell apart.... and that was that...

A rather pathetic footnote to the otherwise noble and effective Boer Commando system

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Guest Carl Hoehler

Chris

Well, well - It seems a bad attitude can overcome most limitations.

Thanks for the info.

It also seems that as a start the article in Wikipeadia needs some serious updating.

Carl

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Chris

Well, well - It seems a bad attitude can overcome most limitations.

Thanks for the info.

It also seems that as a start the article in Wikipeadia needs some serious updating.

Carl

Hi,

do you have a link to the article?

best

Chris

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Guest Carl Hoehler

. . . do you have a link to the article?

Chris

As requested

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritz_Rebellion

L'Ange ("Urgent Imperial Service") was my first exposure to the Rebellion and I have since read "Wie is die skuldiges ?" by Harm Oost (de Wet's bodyguard) which provides valuable background but at the expense of balance.

Carl

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I guess it is open to iterpretation... Maritz's part in the Rebellion was mainly the annoying fact that he rebelled. Once any serious fighting started, his force crumbeled, many men saying he had forced them into rebellion.

I have some photos I took of a bunch of documents in the Pretoria archives. Sure, a few hundred men were killed in the rebellion, but if the Boers could fight almost 4 years against the might of the British Empire, it indicates how much support there was for the rebellion when you see how fast it collapsed.

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Guest Carl Hoehler

Chris

The plot thickens - I will take details later.

Meanwhile do you you have a reference to the wearing of a white arm band by the loyalists during the Rebellion?

Carl Hoehler

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A little bit later but still interesting, this souvenir used to hang in the Post Office at L?deritzbucht in German South West Africa. It's small - only 12" x 10", with the imperial eagle printed on a piece of tin tacked to a varnished pine board.

The reverse has a very faded ink inscription:

Taken from Post Office L?deritzbucht G.S.W.A. Oct. 1915 Major F. A. Jones D.S.O., Brigade Major - 1st S. A. Infantry Brigade

Jones was killed the following year at Delville Wood while commanding the 4th South African Infantry Regiment.

[attachmentid=63656]

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Guest Carl Hoehler

. . . this souvenir used to hang in the Post Office at L?deritzbucht in German South West Africa. . . .

A nice piece - is it in good hands?

Carl Hoehler

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Here is an interesting one.... A German postcard of De Wet in the 1914 rebellion... anyone see the error?

Interesting indeed. De Wet (from the Orange Free State) with the flag of the SA Republic (presumably - no colours indicated), and the words of the SAR national anthem in German rather than Dutch. I wonder if there was also one with Beyers' portrait and the OFS flag and anthem.

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